What is an Anchor Concept?
If we have a low self-esteem, we probably have real or
imagined disabilities; that is, groupings of associations and
thoughts that say we are not capable or this or that.
We likely suffer from zillions of messages gleaned over time
that say we can't do stuff or aren't good as people, or lack
In fact, there are four main areas that define self-esteem.
I call them the Four Powers. They are Worth, Competence,
Ego Strength and Self-Acceptance. If we have a low self-esteem,
one or more of the Four Powers is involved. We imagine we are
"deficient" in one or more of these areas, and then feel bad,
present to others poorly and generally personally suffer.
To repair such a state, one must understand how self-esteem
forms. It is no easy task to completely map out the development
of self-esteem, although I have provided a more complete outline
of the process in a recently released ebook on this subject.
For now it is important to focus on feeling crummy, and how to
fix or at least alter the sensations associated with low
Fortunately, I came up with a technique that addresses just
this experience. It took me ten years of looking at people very
closely as an outpatient psychologist, but I did evolve an
approach that works. I call it the "Anchor Concept."
The Anchor Concept corrects deficits in Self-Esteem,
regardless of whether the problem stems from any or all of the
Powers. It involves finding at least one really positive,
absolutely true quality or ability about you, no matter how big
or small. To be an Anchor Concept, it has to be self-evident to
you, or really, really true and positive from someone else's
point of view. Further, it has to be inviolate. That means
no one can take it away because it is absolutely true, here, now,
For example, let's say we can't do well on math tests, but
there is absolutely no question that we are good at skiing.
Our Anchor Concept is that we are good at skiing. What do math
tests and skiing have to do with each other? Nothing.
Anchor Concepts need not be related to anything else. They just
have to exist and to produce very positive feelings when we think
of them. We are going to use the feeling, not the thought to
change self-esteem. Here's how.
We take the Anchor Concept and literally just "sit in it;"
meaning, think about it and enjoy the good feelings it produces.
Because it is absolutely true and a BIG thing in our psyche's,
sitting in the anchor experience produces some positive emotion(s).
In the above example, we think of skiing. We may experience being
happy, but maybe also being serene, secure, powerful, etc.
Now, at the same time, we also bring up; that is, on purpose think
of whatever it is that bugs us. In this case, it is doing poorly
at math. This will produce a less than happy emotion. It may be
sadness, anger or simple frustration. We hold our attention on
both thoughts simultaneously, if possible, which produces different
and not very compatible feelings.
The positive feeling will be bigger, subjectively, than the
negative feeling. We now just "sit" in the differences between
the two feelings, dwelling on both thoughts simultaneously
(skiing and being poor at math). What happens is that the bigger
feeling "wins;" meaning, it dominates the smaller feeling.
Because the Anchor Concept, by definition, is positive and very
large in our minds, it dominates the smaller negative feeling,
which by definition, is usually smaller.
In this technique, most of us find ourselves struggling with
simultaneously holding both thoughts in our minds. So, most of
us will go back and forth between skiing and math thoughts.
It does not matter, because with each thought, the feeling we have
changes, so the two feelings still get paired, only more
sequentially. Happiness takes turns with anger, but happiness
is still bigger and now it is paired with anger, which is smaller.
The result is that the smaller negative feeling yields to the
larger positive feeling, more and more with each application of
this technique. The smaller feeling loses its charge, hence
influence over us because it literally is being dominated and,
as it turns out, absorbed by the better larger feeling. Being
crummy at math loses its charge over us and our self-esteem
proportionally improves. In this way, self-esteem begins to be
re-worked, from the inside out. Details and an in-depth
explanation of this process are available.